The Big Question: Is The Nintendo Switch Worth It?

Image: Kotaku

I feel like this is a multi-layered question.

Brace yourselves: I have a take.

I think the question 'is the Nintendo Switch worth it' is a tough one to answer.

I love my Switch. The ability to take a legitimate console experience, complete with one of my favourite video games ever, on the bus in the morning: that's legitimately life-changing. I mean it's actually increased my quality of life. I spend over an hour on public transport every work day and because of the Switch I now look forward to that time.

In addition, being a father of two with limited time, the Switch has allowed me to fill video games into unique slots of my life. It's hard to place a value on that.


The Switch is a little underpowered, the screen scratches way too easily, and it is difficult to justify buying a console for one game regardless of how very fucking good that game is.

It's a tough one. I say the Switch is worth it because of its promise: there will be Nintendo games on this console and they will be very good.

Your mileage may vary.


    Waiting on a refresh. There's room for a dieshrink from 20nm to 16nm\14nm or even 10nm in the near future, which would allow for better battery life longevity and higher clocks, especially whilst in portable mode.

    Add on the kinda dodgy joycon issue and "fix", high price of necessary 'accessories', screen scratching, and no real library of games yet, I think it's prudent to wait a year or so before jumping in.

    Last edited 26/04/17 11:35 am

      I’m concerned that Zelda might be a “don’t miss” title that’s already running on outdated hardware.
      I don’t want to pick up a Switch next March and find that it looks terrible next to the PS4 Pro/ Scorpio.

      You're right though.

        The Switch is only outdated compared to the Pro and Scorpio. Actually, the Pro compared to the Scorpio is outdated as well (with rumored 2019 Pro update, the Scorpio will soon be outdated).

        It comes down to two things, the games and the quality. Zelda on an "outdated" console is simply amazing. And since release - they have still improved performance on it - a game not designed for this hardware or its capabilities. And at E3 you are only going to see more amazing games.

        4K really isnt going to add much to the quality and graphics - not as much as people go on about it.. Makes it sharper and the smaller details, well, are more detailed. But its not drastically going to make older consoles (Xbone/PS4/Switch) obsolete. If you are really worried about graphics - skip consoles and go PC. Because they can already outperform and do more than even the Scorpio and Pro can do.

      Screen scratching isn't any different to any other device with a screen. If you don't get a screen protector for a screen device, maybe owning a screen device isn't for you.
      If you do have a joy con issue, you can take it back to place of purchase for a direct swap.
      I spent $30 on accessories for a travel case that came with a screen protector, no need to buy any other joy cons, grips or product controllers or chargers.
      I play mostly undocked and battery life is still very good.
      For me the library is already quite good, better than other consoles this early on with Zelda, Lego City Undercover, Fast RMX, Super Bomberman R, Jackbox Party Pack 3, Snipperclips, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Friday) and many other smaller titles that have been quite popular.
      Of course there's no problem with waiting so the console you get is second iteration (which will be out soon) with guaranteed good joycons and larger game library.
      You can also pick up a suitable power pack and USB C charger as well if you need.

        I highlight the screen scratching as everyone has already figured this out in the mobile space with latest versions of Gorilla Glass. The Switch scratching is Nintendo being cheap, which feels kinda wrong on such an expensive handheld.

          Yeah well a phone like the Samsung galaxy costs $1200-1350AUD. The switch costs $469 and has a more powerful processor - so I don't think Nintendo is being cheap at all - they actually giving us a good deal in comparison.

            Thats actually quite the misnomer, the Snapdragon 820 has a superior CPU, and the Adreno 530 matches it graphically.

            You also ignore the rest of the device, 720p screens are alot cheaper than the 2k screens on most phones, touchscreen is less accurate, less memory than the latest highends, etc.

            Ultimately though, a device scratching as you put it in its own dock is still a design fault, no matter the argument your trying to raise.

        Most devices with screens don't ship with an accessory that risks causing scratches through normal use though.

          And neither does the Switch. The dock would only touch a screen if someone is too rough.

            False it has been proven many times by many different people that anything less then a high lvl of deliacy when docking will scratch the screen lol, i love the switch as much as the next guy but i'm not going to make it seem like a reallllllllllyyyyyy obvious design flaw

              doesn't exist or is over exagerated it's obvious nintendo tried to cut corners on the material's used

              I have one, my son has one, my nephew has one, some friends have one. All the "proof" is two videos on YouTube. Either it's people being really rough or their docks are bent or have plastic sticking out.

        Problem is that it's not a scratch resistant glass screen like everyone has been using for the last number of years during the rise of the smartphone. Not to mention some docks seemed to have sharp bits on them.

        I personally haven't even used mine in handheld mode yet so it's not going to be an issue for me. Works fine as a conventional console.

        Heck, I had a Wii U from launch month and used the off screen play maybe twice.

    It's a tough one. I say the Switch is worth it because of its promise: there will be Nintendo games on this console and they will be very good.
    Sorry Mark, but I think that only works if it was discounted now and increased in value when they finally release some more games. Unfortunately, too many people were burned by the GC, Wii and WiiU and their limited libraries. Hopefully they'll change that and there'll be a huge pile of great third party titles, but I'll need to wait and see before I can say that the Switch is worth it.

      Wikipedia tells me there were 1523 games for the wii. how is that limited?

        I suppose I should have clarified that statement - the are not limited in terms of quantity (though it feels like the WiiU is? Just a feeling), but in the sense that Nintendo failed to make the consoles attractive enough for third party developers to release many titles that were released on both the Microsoft and Sony consoles at that time. That's admittedly an entirely subjective determination for most people - plenty of people were (are?) fortunate enough to be able to afford more than one console, and plenty of people were content with the games available on the Nintendo consoles.
        My own personal experience was that after loving the N64, I bought the Wii and missed out on a number of massive console experiences of that time. I was a poor student and simply couldn't have justified dropping the cash on a second console at the time. So, in the context of the article, the worth of the Switch is going to depend heavily on whether or not there are enough games available to justify the cost of the console. At the moment, to me, it's a $500 Zelda box and, as much as I'd like to play the new Zelda, it's not worth it. That may be different for you and it may change over time, but at the time I bought the Wii, I should've bought the Xbox.

        And there's 700,000 games on the iPhone app store.

        There can still be nothing good to play.

          And the Wii U has a better library than the Xbox One. It feels like all exclusive Xbx One sequels and remakes are vastly inferior to what's on the 360, which had a better library than the Wii.

      Yep. You said it. I am a wii u owner and I was defending it when this website was posting articles about how it was dead. And they were right, I was wrong.

      This feels exactly the same to me. Underpowered console released with very limited but strong release title and people hope more will come.

      I learnt this lesson the hard way. Not making the same mistake again. I loved my wii u but Nintendo didn't. Which is inexcusable when it's their console.

        Same boat here. Still got my Wii U, waiting for the Wii U title range to spring to life and- wait it's dead. I loved the half a dozen games I played on it, but I don't buy a system for half a dozen games - even the hours of fun that MK8 was.

        Looks like I could've skipped MK8 and picked it up later on Switch with all the DLC and more, but I wanted to be an adopter of something I thought would be fleshed out.

        I learned my lesson. Back to being a wait-and-see gamer.

          And yet you have so many comments on this thread of people saying 'it will be great once they release more games'.

          It's history repeating itself!

    I find it hard to vote because I honestly haven’t even seen (let alone held) one yet. I catch the train to work every day (40 min to the Sydney CBD), I’ve been into EB Games once or twice…. I’ve looked in JB.... still haven’t actually laid eyes on an actual Switch.

    I want the new Zelda, I plan on buying one at the moment, but I’m still a bit apprehensive about it.

    I’m constantly ranting about Nintendo and their general stupidity/ anti-consumer assholery, and I expect to be an ongoing source of frustration… but I just struggle to turn down such a well-received game in such a quality franchise.

    Pretty​ happy with mine this far. Smashed Zelda and had a ball, grabbed Lego City Undercover because I missed it on WiiU and that's been great. Has been heroes has been keeping me busy too, addictive now I figured out that hilariously obtuse control scheme. Keen for Mario kart this week, and Splatoon after that.

    Honestly, it's the same as several consoles I could name at launch - there's not a lot of games. But that's the perils of buying at launch or being an early adopter. 'X system has no games' is as old as the hills. You have to wait if you jumped on early.

    The fact I can pick up and play from where I left off, in transit and at my destination (if I so choose) one of, if not the best game I've ever played makes it worth it.
    Saying that, if the library of games released stagnates or falls behind then no, it isn't.
    So really, unless the timings of releases falls off a cliff when I've finished with Zelda I'll continue to love the console.

    Personally, I can't tell if the Switch is worth it or not. I have mine and I'm enjoying it.

    But objectively it is still too early; the Switch really needs more games to see if it is worth it or it will suffer the same fate as the Vita but more quickly as it is underpowered.

    Yes it's worth it. There are heaps more games on the way that I am planning on getting. It's not going to drop in price anytime soon so no real reason to wait.

    My wife has even started playing Zelda and played it more than any other game ever. She will usually play a few worlds/levels or whatever then never pick it up again. Now she's having multiple hour sessions in the evenings.

    Not for me. I saw one in a shop yesterday and had no desire to buy it whatsoever. $470 is ridiculous for me to play one game.

    Okay, its a weird metric, but I've played Zelda BOTW for around 110 hours. I got the switch with Zelda for $529.

    $529/110hrs = $4.8 per hour of entertainment, and whilst this value proposition is arguably way less than something like Netflix

    I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last night at IMAX. The ticket was $32 for 2 and bit hours of entertainment, which is really expensive in comparison.

    It's hard to argue against a sub $5 per hour cost for premium entertainment like BOTW.

    And with more good games to come (they are coming right!?), the value represented by the Switch will only improve.

      That is pretty much how I work out the value of things like consoles, games, etc, myself.

      As such the Switch is already been worth it because I've put in at least 100 hours with Zelda alone. On top of that, Mario Kart out Friday.

      On that note... A friend went on a long rant about the MK8 re-release a few days ago, talking about how he had it on Wii U and how people shouldn't buy it. I eventually had just to shut him up by pointing out I haven't owned a Mario Kart game since the N64, and that the game having no value in his eyes is precisely because he's played it to death on Wii U where someone such as myself simply has not.

      Terrible and overly superficial way of determining value. Doesn't even work if you assume that experiences of any and all media are equal.

        Money's money and entertainment is entertainment. It's not a terrible way to compare. Pay this much money for this much entertainment. Makes sense. Zelda alone has delivered more entertainment than most games I've played in the last two years. Mario Kart 8 delivers endlessly and the console is always a 2 player minimum machine with it's built in two player configuration.

        It's a no brainer

          Lol that's just plain nonsense, by that logic the switch is insanely over priced because most people who play video games which is the entertainment in question have literally thousands of hours on one console that has a lower price so by the xprice divided by xamount of hours played logic the cost per hour on those consoles would be in the fractions of cents. Although i hope the switch is as successful as the average non-nintendo console, and i doubt it will be just looking at recent nintendo history, only if it is that successful will it be "worth" it.

    I haven't bought one but my cousin got BotW on the WiiU. It looks great and plays well. I promised i would hold off on get the switch until it had more games but maybe when the baby arrives it'll become more necessary.

    not worth it right now as far as a home console. I think they need to have an upgrade on the dock to have some kind of hardware to support better fps, smoothness on TV/monitors.

    Games on Switch also too expensive. Minecraft on switch (which is coming soon) is 99.95? Rayman legends 99.95. I mean seriously?

    right now 3ds is definitely better than switch in terms of games, prices and backward compatibility

      I submit the idea that your TV/monitors might actually be part of the problem and it's not necessarily all the fault of the console.

      I say this because I have 3 screens (1 LCD TV and 2 LCD computer monitors) that I can use for games... And my primary computer monitor beats the other two on performance and picture quality without question, to the extent that I don't like playing games (even Xbone or PS4) on my TV because there is a very noticeable difference in quality when compared to my monitor for gaming.

      90% of my 100+ hours in Zelda has been played with the Switch docked and connected to my primary computer monitor. Performance is fine and the game looks fantastic. On my TV though? Performance is the same but it just simply does not look as good.

        Not sure what you are talking about, the switch is clearly under powered and it has been reported by every man and his dog that zelda has framerate\pop in\texture issues? The extent that they bother you is another story (i played on wii u and i was fine with how it looked) but they are there and saying otherwise is silly.

          What are YOU talking about?

          He made specific reference to fps and the 'smoothness' on TV/monitors. I pointed out I had issues with it on my TV that I didn't have with my PC monitor, and that I've had the same issues with other consoles. So my point stands.

          At no point did I claim the Switch was some sort of magical machine free of issues, and if you actually read my post properly you'd see that.

          For one, I just said his screens MIGHT be part of the problem. I didn't say they were the cause of all issues. I even said "not necessarily ALL the fault of the console", that alone implies it could actually very much still be a contributing factor.

          It was pretty specifically worded, precisely so I wasn't claiming anything like what you're going on about... Because that'd be moronic.

            He is clearly referenced the performance drop outputting to external screens as opposed to games like zelda running better on handheld (lower res on the local screen)

      There will most likely never be an upgrade to the dock that makes performance better. A new system would make much more sense.

      Where are you looking to see those crazy prices? Sounds like placeholder prices to me. Minecraft has already been confirmed to be much less. Rayman will be too.

      Stop buying your games at EB, if you want them cheaper. Go to Target or online.

    I already have a Vita and 3DS with games I like to play so I don't really need a third right now. At home I also have three consoles with the games I like playing and are getting a lot of the third party Switch games as well so I don't really see a need for another console there either. If I do get one it will be because Xenobalde 2 was released and I had a fierce internal debate about whether it was worth it for that one game. It was the same debate for the Wii U and while I mostly don't regret the decision, I wouldn't buy it if I could make the choice all over again.

    Love mine - playing Zelda with the kids is awesome, but the system is going to come massively into its own with MK8 and things like Smash Bros. Multiplayer gaming when you're out and about will be enormous.

    I would definitely go in the Not Yet category. It seems like a great system that has captivated, at least the media but it does have a lot of drawbacks. Given I'd want to be buying a pro-controller or two, a case, games etc I think it would be very expensive by the time I was happy. So I think a price drop or perhaps a more appealing pack and it would become a yes. If this happens it may very well become the console to have this Christmas.

      Don't hold your breath on a price drop. Nintendo almost never drops prices and with the way this is selling, they'll have no incentive to. A good bundle deal on the other hand is certainly feasible.

    Did the PS4 and Xbox One get put on trial like this, as early as this, in their respective life-spans?

    Because video game sites are notoriously difficult to 'look back' on to see what they were collectively saying about something in 2013, it's difficult to assess.

    Let's say you're one of those people harping on about the Switch's horsepower. Only fair to ask what good games were taking advantage of the grunt offered so early in the Xbox One's life. Ryse: Son of Rome had what, middling to crap reviews?

    I'd argue you can't negate launch games from talking about a new console's early months.

    You are always buying a console for at least one game. I only got an Xbox 360 to play Red Dead Redemption.

    So yes indeed, Red Dead Redemption cost me a hell of a lot more than the standard price of a video game.

    I myself haven't hardly touched my Switch or Zelda because it's a terrible time of year to release a console, I have no time but the time I have spent on it has been great.

    I bought a PS4 for Bloodborne. Bloodborne cost me $500 plus my 360, my PS3, and my entire game libraries for those consoles.

    Still worth it though.

      The Switch is treated so dubiously mostly because its marketed as a console, but is probably closer to an expensive handheld in functionality, this creates the subpar comparisons on performance to the other consoles, and dubiousness over how expensive it is compared to other hand helds.

      It's a thing. '* HAS NO GAMES!'
      Anyone remember the PS3? Good lord that had barely anything worth playing for a good 18 months after it came out, and by the time it was done it had one of the best libraries I've seen. The most recent apart from the Switch is 'LOL VITA HAS NO GAMES'. Which is true if you're at EB Games looking at the 3 Vita games they have on their shelves - but if you go on the PS Store, there's a treasure trove of games for that thing. But people aren't interested - they'd rather parrot the negative narrative. Makes them cool or something, I honestly don't get it.

      People love shitting on anything, especially when it's new. Basically by now if you want a Switch, you've probably got one - and if you don't - you're probably waiting for something in particular or to see how it pans out after months/years. Either way, keep doing what you're doing.

        Pretty sure both PS4 and Xbone were "lol no gaems" consoles at launch too.


      Ryse took advantage of the grunt though, Ryse was a beatiful game and still is one of the best looking games this gen, game play can be hit or miss but generally the users who actually played it later and once the hate train ran it's course say it's enjoyable for waht it is (a simple but good looking beat em up) it never should have been hyped as some great game tbh.

      The xbox one launch line up though from memory also had dead rising 3, assassins creed black flag, bf 4, cod (this game sucked though), fifa, killer instinct and nba2k. More too but those are the games i remember having at or close to launch.

      Sure none of those are as good as zelda (i played on wii u and loved it) but there was a larger variety and there was also the knowledge that microsoft and third parties had a lot of future releases coming. Switch has the added scrutiny of coming off of the wii u being essentially a failure in many peoples eyes. The whole "no games" argument is a bigger concern when you know they don't have as much third party and they struggled with first party titles on their previous system.

        In the same amount of time from launch that the Switch has released 34 games, the Xbone released 25.

          But like 30 of thos switch games are indies/re-releases/old ports

            It's quite less than 30, but you have a point. However, if you check the initial releases of the Ps4 and Xbone in the same window of time (36 and 25 respectively) you'll find out a similar amount of re-releases, indies and ports. Really, the difference, when you get to the bottom of it is only like 2 or 3 AAA fewer 3rd-party games which can be chalked to overt cautiousness regarding an untested console from such a wildcard company. Could be better for sure, but for a Nintendo console is by no means a small launch library. And now that the console has proved successful, it is bound to gain even more confidence from the 3rd party gamemakers.

      There was nothing but state of play articles and "should I buy a xbone or PS4" articles for months after launch (and pre launch)

    I own a Wii U so the answer is 'No. Well, not yet anyway'.

    Nintendo will have to keep delivering on quality games for a long time to tempt me. In the meantime, I will just play Zelda on Wii U.

      Pretty much this for me, though I'm ready to jump in given rhe right bundle or price.

    I guess on the 'plus' side, there's the very dubious (if not outright outrageous) knowledge that there's no point waiting for the price to come down to something reasonable, because this is Nintendo. The price will never fucking come down.

      Except when the system is utterly dead. I saw Calladoody for WiiU at EB for... $4 (?) iirc

      The upside is, I traded a pile of 3DS games the other week and got crazy good tradeins on them. Ninty hold their value.

      They do run out sales in stores on older bundles though, my wii u was very cheap at target as they were slashing the prices of an old unsold skylanders bundle when a new bundle (think it was mario kart) launched.

    This is a difficult one, and my answer is actually "It depends" but I selected "No" in the poll above. I mean, it's pretty cool to be able to play around the house and stuff but I can already do that using a Bluetooth controller and Nvidia gamestream via Moonlight app on my Android phone, (and that's PC-level graphics!).

    I'm a huge fan of Zelda and really love the game so I can't say I feel buyer's remorse or anything, but it really is a lot of money on a system that can only be used ~3-4 hours portable until it runs out of battery. Honestly, if I had a Wii-U and could play BOTW on that, I wouldn't have bought one. Time will tell though, depending on the games line up and the support for virtual console.

    Oh additionally, Nintendo's Australia support is ridiculously fucking slow. I had the left joy-con sync issue, called Nintendo about it and they sent me a return label and I shipped it to them on 10th April. They only just called me back yesterday to confirm they've identified the issue and fixed it under warranty. They then told me it's 3-5 business days just to DISPATCH from them, then another 3-5 days for delivery. I remember reading reddit posts about Nintendo USA who had it done within 2 business days for them. Fucking piss poor.

    If you think it is then it is. If you think it isn't then it isn't. How much do you value your own time and money relative to what else you spend these things on? You'll be the one paying for and finding time to play. Is it the quality of the experience or the quantity? A mix of both? You know the answers to this questions. I don't.

    Make a decision!

    For me it's still not worth it. I have a wii u and have zelda on wii u so there is zero point to me upgrading until at least christmas when it'll have splatoon 2 and a new mario.

    Hahaha absolutely not. Especially if you own a Wii U.

    Maybe later in the year once there's actually some Switch games around.

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